what freedom is (and isn't)
I want to quit my day job!
I want to be location-independent!
I want to make 6 figures, speak at conferences, and travel the world!
We all want freedom; so-called freedom that looks like this:
You're sitting on a beach, sipping piña coladas, laughing with your honey and reveling in how you have nothing to do but count the waves lapping up on the shore. The only piece of technology you have is your iPhone, which you use to play Jimmy Buffett on Pandora and post photos on Instagram of your perfect freedom.
There isn’t an email in sight. There is no mention of twitter followers or newsletter subscribers or monthly pageviews or SEO.
Or maybe freedom looks like this:
You spend your days in an art studio, getting your hands dirty, paint covering your fingertips and your Anthropologie apron and the tops of your hot pink Converse sneakers.
There is no shipping box in sight. There is no mountain of email to climb every night after your family goes to bed. There aren’t the “but I never have any time to just create” laments to your friends. Laments that I have heard from every single professional artist I’ve ever met.
Y’all. We’ve got the look of freedom all wrong.
When we think about how we want our lives to look, we aren’t picturing what freedom is, we’re picturing a fucking vacation.
Here’s what freedom really looks like:
Freedom is finally being able to say to the guy “I’m better off alone than with someone who treats me like this” even though you cry yourself to sleep at night and feel lonelier than you’ve ever been in your life.
Freedom is committing to staying in the job, in that fucking job, because you know you need to pay off your debt before you venture out on your own and likely incur more.
Freedom is saying no to dinners out, and fancy shoes, and the IMAX experience so that you can actually pay off said debt and move on with your life already.
Freedom is having the balls to finally quit the job and saying “I’ll sell my car if I have to” because your will to succeed is that strong.
Freedom is taking the part-time job when you need to because desperation doesn’t look good on anyone.
Freedom is choosing to use your credit cards to bankroll your business in the starting months when you only make $125 total because you will do everything you can to see this through.
Freedom is climbing that mountain of email when everyone goes to sleep because that means that you got to eat both breakfast and dinner together as a family.
Freedom is pulling in an annual gross salary of $39,000 in your third year of business for yourself and feeling like a fucking champion because that number - as paltry as it seems to everyone else - represents a 300% increase over last year’s income and is a sign that you. are. finally. doing. this.
Freedom is making commitments and setting priorities and recognizing that you aren’t looking for the easy way out, but for what matters.
Freedom is getting to decide that for yourself.
Freedom is raising your hand and saying yes. Even if you aren’t 100% confident. Even if you don’t feel 100% ready. (Click to tweet)
So, do you want freedom or just need a vacation?
If it’s a vacation, great! Prepare for your life to be a whole lot easier. (Seriously: tell your boss you’re going, but the damn ticket already, and get to the beach yo!)
But if it’s true freedom you’re after, how hard are you willing to work to get it?
And what difficult choices are you willing to make?
I promise it won’t be painting-all-day-in-my-converse or piña-colada-on-the-beach easy but it will be so freaking worth it when you realize that you made it all happen for yourself.
**graphics by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching